[03/25/04 - 12:00 AM]
Production Begins on Revived 'Family Guy'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- After four months of rumblings, production has officially restarted on the short-lived animated series "Family Guy," the show's distributor, 20th Century Fox Television, confirmed this week.

At least 22 new installments are scheduled to be produced for its revived fourth season, which will debut in early 2005. Cartoon Network, the home of "Family Guy's" off-network run, has signed on to broadcast the new episodes however FOX, which originally ran the series from 1999-2002, has the option to air the episodes first. In either case, the episodes will eventually make their way to the cable channel.

Overall, the studio expects as many as 40 new episodes to be produced over the course of its new production run, the idea being to get enough episodes in the can to sell the series to local stations across the country. 50 installments were produced during its initial run, meaning an addition 40 would put in well within the target range of most syndication packages.

"There was never any question that this show was wildly successful creatively, but it didn't draw a broad enough audience to justify sticking on the network," 20th Century Fox Television president Gary Newman told Daily Variety. "But we've found a way to capitalize on the incredibly loyal and fanatical base of enthusiasts for the show."

"It's really astonishing," added creator Seth MacFarlane. "We all kind of mused when it was canceled that it would be funny to have a fate like 'Star Trek,' where you go three years, get canceled and then explode in reruns. We never thought that would happen, but then, here we are."

As previously noted (read the story), "Family Guy's" revival is chiefly attributed to its strong DVD sales - 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment indicates more than 2.2 million units have been sold of "Family Guy's" two DVD volumes - as well as its stellar viewership as part of Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" lineup where it regularly beats NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and CBS' "The Late Show With David Letterman" in the heavily coveted demographic of men 18-24.

20th is banking on future DVD sales of the new episodes and additional syndicated revenue to offset the significant cost of producing the show. The studio also confirmed that the budget for the series has been cut by 10%. MacFarlane nevertheless indicates the reduction won't have a major impact on the show and Seth Green, Alex Bornstein and Mila Kunis are in talks to reprise their roles. MacFarlane, along with "Family Guy" veterans Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman, are also hard at work on "American Dad," an animated pilot presentation at FOX.

Lastly, Newman was also quick to indicate that it's unlikely other canceled shows will follow in the footsteps of "Family Guy" and return to the small screen: "In no way should anyone think this is a template for the future," he said. "A successful DVD life does not justify production costs. What it does suggest is those of us on the supplier side of the business have to be open to unique shows and situations."

  [march 2004]  


[10/26/16 - 03:23 PM]
Lifetime Partners with "The View" for Primetime Event Program, "The View Live Election Special"
The special will feature "The View's" co-hosts from their set with a live studio audience, election-themed Hot Topics, interactive election activities and up-to-the-minute results from key battleground states.

[10/26/16 - 02:01 PM]
Freeform Says Farewell to "Pretty Little Liars" with an Exclusive One-Hour Tell-All Following the Series Finale
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse, as well as executive producer I. Marlene King, will sit down for an hour long unbarred and uncensored tell-all after show.

[10/26/16 - 01:31 PM]
Video: Showtime(R) Releases Poster and New "Presidential" Teaser for Stephen Colbert's Live Election Night Special
On election night, Colbert will be reacting in real-time to the election results as the state by state returns come in, making it the perfect election night destination for people who want to see all the latest news, without actually having to watch the news.

[10/26/16 - 12:45 PM]
New Comedy "The Mick," Starring Kaitlin Olson, to Premiere Sunday, January 1, After NFL Doubleheader, on FOX
The series will then regularly air Tuesday nights following "New Girl."

[10/26/16 - 11:42 AM]
Samantha Bee Interviews Her First Male President, Barack Obama
Said installment of "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" airs Monday, October 31 at 10:30/9:30c on TBS.

[10/26/16 - 11:00 AM]
Starz Adds Michael Nyqvist, Nazanin Boniadi, Nicholas Pinnock and Sara Serraiocco to Spy Thriller "Counterpart"
The espionage thriller with a metaphysical twist also stars Oscar(R) winner J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams and Harry Lloyd.

[10/26/16 - 10:32 AM]
Weinstein Television's Epic Scripted Event Series "Waco," Lands on Spike TV
Previously announced in August, the six-part event series is based on the harrowing true story of the 1993 FBI siege of a religious sect in Waco, Texas that resulted in the deadly shoot out and fire.

[10/26/16 - 10:32 AM]
"Broad City" Original Series Soundtrack Available Friday, October 28 via Milan Records in Association with Comedy Central Records
The album artwork and packaging is designed by artist Mike Perry, who is also the creator of the animated show opener for "Broad City," and features an insert with spliff-rolling instructions.

[10/26/16 - 10:23 AM]
The CW Gets Into the Spirit with Its Schedule of Upcoming Holiday Specials
New this holiday season, The CW will broadcast an original holiday special, "Terry Crews Saves Christmas," for five hour-long episodes across four consecutive nights, starting Tuesday, December 20.

[10/26/16 - 10:09 AM]
WGN America's Hit Supernatural Thriller "Salem" Returns Halloween Week Wednesday, November 2 at 9:00 PM ET/PT
In advance of the premiere, the network released a riveting new trailer featuring a gruesome twist on "Cats Cradle."

[10/26/16 - 09:26 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: World Series Opens on Top for FOX
The network's coverage is up more than 17% among adults 18-49 from last year.

[10/26/16 - 09:01 AM]
Disney Begins Production on New "Muppet Babies" Series, Slated to Debut in Early 2018
Geared towards kids 4-7, each episode will feature two 11-minute stories that follow the Muppet Babies on various adventures as they let their imaginations take them to the farthest corners of the universe.

[10/26/16 - 09:00 AM]
Esquire Network Teams Up with Nick Offerman and the Movember Foundation to Throw a "'Stache Bash" to Raise Awareness of Men's Health
Take a look at Nick chatting about moustaches and tune in to the marathon to see the best of the beards and flavor savers.

[10/26/16 - 08:56 AM]
Travel Channel Says Week of December 25 Is the Perfect Time for a "Chill-cation"
Travel Channel's favorite experts and explorers - Josh Gates, Jack Maxwell, Anthony Melchiorri, Don Wildman, Andrew Zimmern and Zak Bagans - will lead ultimate chilly escapes with ice-themed episodes of the network's most popular series.

[10/26/16 - 08:32 AM]
ABC Brings You "Home for the Holidays" with Series and Specials from Thanksgiving Through the New Year
Highlights include new seasons of "The Great Christmas Light Fight" and the re-monikered "The Great American Baking Show."